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Jules Verne Trophy

Peyron and his boys let the record to Peter Blake

samedi 9 mars 2002

Slowed 80 miles from the equator, the maxi catamaran Orange leaves Peter Blake with the reference time between Ushant and the equator. Peyron and his crew have used up the semblance of a trade wind which had been propelling them onwards since the Cape Verde Islands. Today the North Atlantic is giving them a slight rest before they move into the southern hemisphere, with its easterly regimes which are often sustained and well-established. The lead over Sport Elec’s 1997 run remains substantial. The rule of thumb on board remains unchanged - concentration, anticipation, vigilance to both men and machine, in an atmosphere of good humour and enthusiasm.

No time for soul searching aboard Orange. Each day and night brings with it a new set of problems for Peyron’s crew, something new the sailors have to come to terms with, a challenge for their intelligence and experience. Yesterday, a fluctuating NNE flow meant that Orange had to make sue of all of her sails (8 altogether, for 39 changes). The days regime should be served up with what looks like rather narrowly spread Doldrums in terms of latitude. The sea is dead calm, the sun strong and the wind very light for the giant’s 20 tons. In addition to the helmsman’s finesse and the quality of the trimming, observing the water closely also features on the menu. The hunt is on for the slightest puff of wind." Every mile gained in the south brings us that much closer to deliverance " comments Gilles Chiorri, the boat’s navigator. When he says deliverance, he means the well-established regime of trade winds which lie under the equator. This evening, the trades ought to be veering nicely from east to south-east, opening up a fine boulevard to Peyron’s crew along the Brazilian coastline down towards the Southern Ocean. Today Orange has to get going again. In order to do so, she has a trick up her sleeve in the shape of a medium gennaker, perfectly suited to running downwind in light wind. The boat glides along. No time to make a pitstop in calm conditions. As they are slowed, the time is put to good use to check the hulls over after a week racing. Vladimir Dzalda Lyndis was landed with this job and spent one hour diving in water at a temperature of 29°C checking hulls, dagger boards and rudders. Conclusion ? Two algae cutting " blades " which are supposed to be in place forwards of each rudder have disappeared. Bruno at the helm, the watch is up on deck ready to react to any change in wind angle or strength. Gilles Chiorri and Hervé Jan are dissecting the latest weather files. Having long been Olivier de Kersauson’s right-hand man, Hervé Jan is among the current holders of the Jules Verne Trophy. Facts and figures don’t have that much of an effect on him. " When you ?re sailing, records are won and lost at each moment in time. Nothing is written down in advance. "

Quote/Unquote :

- Gilles Chiorri : " We’re spending a lot of time comparing weather information. An interesting situation lies ahead. After the equator, we’ll be aiming for an exit from the South Atlantic between 27 and 30 degrees latitude south. Then we’ll have to change the boat’s course to the east to enter the Southern Ocean. Of course, we shall have to be careful to negotiate things well today to cross the equator this evening and pick up the south-east trade winds. "

- Vladimir Dzalda Lyndis : " The watchword on board remains unchanged. Whether in a blow or dead calm, we have to keep a particularly careful eye on the boat’s condition and on the level of wear and tear on equipment. Today is the first day that Orange has been sailing really slowly. I’ve made then most of it to dive and inspect the condition of the hulls and appendages. Not the slightest scratch to report. "

- Hervé Jan : " We’re going to remain slowed throughout today until early evening. We’re waiting for the wind to pick up. It should come in from the port side. The South Atlantic is looking pretty complicated, with the South Atlantic High lying very low and wide. There’s an excellent atmosphere on board with lots of communication Communication #Communication between the various watches. I’m trying to bring my experience and knowledge of the " ranges " of use of our sails to bear, but decisions on board are collegial, and have to be approved by Bruno... "

Denis van den Brink / Mer & Media / Orange

Voir la carte du tour du monde : Geronimo vs Orange

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Jules Verne Trophy : Orange against Enza’s Ouessant to Equator record

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image 300 x 150The new trimaran in the port of La Rochelle. Note the rudders (in orange). Photo : Bernard Gergaud.

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